[Federal Register Volume 77, Number 121 (Friday, June 22, 2012)]
[Proposed Rules]
[Pages 37638-37647]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Printing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2012-12952]


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FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION

47 CFR Part 73

[MB Docket No. 12-106; FCC 12-43]


Noncommercial Educational Station Fundraising for Third-Party 
Non-Profit Organizations

AGENCY: Federal Communications Commission.

ACTION: Proposed rule.

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SUMMARY: In this document, the Commission proposes to allow 
noncommercial educational (NCE) broadcast stations to conduct on-air 
fundraising activities that interrupt regular programming for the 
benefit of third-party non-profit organizations. This proposed rule 
change would reduce or eliminate the need for NCE stations to seek a 
waiver of the Commission's rules to interrupt regular programming to 
conduct third-party fundraising and would afford NCE stations more 
flexibility in choosing which non-profit entities to support through 
on-air fundraising.

DATES: Comments for this proceeding are due on or before July 23, 2012; 
reply comments are due on or before August 21, 2012. Written PRA 
comments on the proposed information collection requirements contained 
herein must be submitted by the public, Office of Management and Budget 
(OMB), and other interested parties on or before August 21, 2012.

ADDRESSES: You may submit comments, identified by MB Docket No. 12-106, 
by any of the following methods:
    [ssquf] Federal Communications Commission's Web Site: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/. Follow the instructions for submitting comments.

[[Page 37639]]

    [ssquf] Mail: Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by 
commercial overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. 
Postal Service mail (although the Commission continues to experience 
delays in receiving U.S. Postal Service mail). All filings must be 
addressed to the Commission's Secretary, Office of the Secretary, 
Federal Communications Commission.
    [ssquf] People with Disabilities: Contact the FCC to request 
reasonable accommodations (accessible format documents, sign language 
interpreters, CART, etc.) by email: FCC504@fcc.gov or phone: (202) 418-
0530 or TTY: (202) 418-0432.

In addition to filing comments with the Secretary, a copy of any PRA 
comments on the proposed information collection requirements contained 
herein should be submitted to the Federal Communications Commission via 
email to PRA@fcc.gov and to Nicholas A. Fraser, Office of Management 
and Budget, via email to Nicholas_A._Fraser@omb.eop.gov or via fax at 
(202) 395-5167. For detailed instructions for submitting comments and 
additional information on the rulemaking process, see the SUPPLEMENTARY 
INFORMATION section of this document.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: For additional information, contact 
Kathy Berthot, Kathy.Berthot@fcc.gov, of the Media Bureau, Policy 
Division, (202) 418-7454. For additional information concerning the 
information collection requirements contained in this document, send an 
email to PRA@fcc.gov or contact Cathy Williams at (202) 418-2918. To 
view or obtain a copy of this information collection request (ICR) 
submitted to OMB: (1) Go to this OMB/GSA Web page: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/PRAMain, (2) look for the section of the Web 
page called ``Currently Under Review,'' (3) click on the downward-
pointing arrow in the ``Select Agency'' box below the ``Currently Under 
Review'' heading, (4) select ``Federal Communications Commission'' from 
the list of agencies presented in the ``Select Agency'' box, (5) click 
the ``Submit'' button to the right of the ``Select Agency'' box, and 
(6) when the list of FCC ICRs currently under review appears, look for 
the OMB control number of this ICR as shown in the Supplementary 
Information section below (or its title if there is no OMB control 
number) and then click on the ICR Reference Number. A copy of the FCC 
submission to OMB will be displayed.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: This is a summary of the Commission's Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking, FCC 12-43, adopted on April 25, 2012 and 
released on April 26, 2012. The full text is available for public 
inspection and copying during regular business hours in the FCC 
Reference Center, Federal Communications Commission, 445 12th Street 
SW., CY-A257, Washington, DC 20554. This document will also be 
available via ECFS (http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/). Documents will be 
available electronically in ASCII, Word 97, and/or Adobe Acrobat. The 
complete text may be purchased from the Commission's copy contractor, 
445 12th Street SW., Room CY-B402, Washington, DC 20554. To request 
this document in accessible formats (computer diskettes, large print, 
audio recording, and Braille), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call 
the Commission's Consumer and Governmental Affairs Bureau at (202) 418-
0530 (voice), (202) 418-0432 (TTY).
    This document contains proposed information collection 
requirements. As part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork 
burden and as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act (PRA) of 1995 (44 
U.S.C. 3501-3520), the Federal Communications Commission invites the 
general public and other Federal agencies to comment on the following 
information collections. Public and agency comments are due August 21, 
2012.
    Comments should address: (a) Whether the proposed collection of 
information is necessary for the proper performance of the functions of 
the Commission, including whether the information shall have practical 
utility; (b) the accuracy of the Commission's burden estimates; (c) 
ways to enhance the quality, utility, and clarity of the information 
collected; and (d) ways to minimize the burden of the collection of 
information on the respondents, including the use of automated 
collection techniques or other forms of information technology. In 
addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork Relief Act of 2002, 
Public Law 107-198, see 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4), we seek specific comment 
on how we might ``further reduce the information collection burden for 
small business concerns with fewer than 25 employees.''
    OMB Control Number: None.
    Title: Section 73.503, Licensing requirements and service; Section 
73.621, Noncommercial educational TV stations; Section 76.3527, Local 
public inspection file of noncommercial educational stations.
    Form Number: Not applicable.
    Type of Review: New information collection.
    Respondents: Not for-profit institutions.
    Number of Respondents and Responses: 2,200 respondents/30,800 
responses.
    Estimated Time per Response: 0.25 to 1.5 hours.
    Frequency of Response: Annual reporting requirement; One-time 
reporting requirement; Recordkeeping requirement; Third party 
disclosure requirement.
    Obligation to Respond: Required to obtain or retain benefits. The 
statutory authority for this collection of information is contained in 
47 U.S.C. 151, 152, 154(i), 303, 307 and 308.
    Total Annual Burden: 17,050 hours.
    Total Annual Costs: $330,000.
    Privacy Act Impact Assessment: No impact.
    Nature and Extent of Confidentiality: There is no general need for 
confidentiality with these information collections. However, 
respondents may request materials or information submitted to the 
Commission be withheld from public inspection under 47 CFR 0.459 of the 
Commission's rules.
    Needs and Uses: On April 25, 2012, the Commission adopted a Notice 
of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), Noncommercial Educational Station 
Fundraising for Third-Party Non-Profit Organizations, MB Docket No. 12-
106, FCC 12-43. In the NPRM, the Commission proposes to allow NCE 
stations to spend up to one percent of their total annual airtime 
conducting fundraising activities that interrupt regular programming 
for the benefit of third-party non-profit organizations.
    The NPRM proposes to add or revise the following rule sections, 
which contain proposed information collection requirements: 47 CFR 
73.503(e)(1), 47 CFR 73.503(e)(2), 47 CFR 73.503(e)(3), 47 CFR 
73.621(f)(1), 47 CFR 73.621(f)(2), 47 CFR 73.621(f)(3), 47 CFR 
73.3527(e)(14).
    Pursuant to proposed 47 CFR 73.503(e)(1), a noncommercial 
educational FM broadcast station that intends to interrupt regular 
programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of third-party 
non-profit organizations must file an opt-in notification with the FCC 
prior to engaging in such fundraising activities.
    Pursuant to proposed 47 CFR 73.503(e)(2), a noncommercial 
educational FM broadcast station that interrupts regular programming to 
conduct fundraising activities on behalf of third-party non-profit 
organizations must air a disclosure during such activities clearly 
stating that the fundraiser is not for the benefit of the station 
itself and identifying the entity

[[Page 37640]]

for which it is fundraising and the specific cause, if any, supported 
by the fundraiser. The station must air the audience disclosure at the 
beginning and the end of each fundraising program and at least once 
during each hour in which the program is on the air.
    Pursuant to proposed 47 CFR 73.503(e)(3), a noncommercial 
educational FM broadcast station that interrupts regular programming to 
conduct fundraising activities on behalf of third-party non-profit 
organizations must file a report with the FCC on an annual basis 
describing such fundraising activities.
    Pursuant to proposed 47 CFR 73.621(f)(1), a noncommercial 
educational television station that intends to interrupt regular 
programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of third-party 
non-profit organizations must file an opt-in notification with the FCC 
prior to engaging in such fundraising activities.
    Pursuant to proposed 47 CFR 73.621(f)(2), a noncommercial 
educational television station that interrupts regular programming to 
conduct fundraising activities on behalf of third-party non-profit 
organizations must air a disclosure during such activities clearly 
stating that the fundraiser is not for the benefit of the station 
itself and identifying the entity for which it is fundraising and the 
specific cause, if any, supported by the fundraiser. The station must 
air the audience disclosure at the beginning and the end of each 
fundraising program and at least once during each hour in which the 
program is on the air.
    Pursuant to proposed 47 CFR 73.621(f)(3), a noncommercial 
educational television station that interrupts regular programming to 
conduct fundraising activities on behalf of third-party non-profit 
organizations must file a report with the FCC on an annual basis 
describing such fundraising activities.
    Pursuant to proposed 47 CFR 73.3527(e)(14), each noncommercial 
educational FM broadcast station and each noncommercial educational TV 
broadcast station that interrupts regular programming to conduct 
fundraising activities on behalf of third-party non-profit 
organizations must maintain a copy of its annual report describing its 
fundraising activities in its public inspection file until final action 
has been taken on the station's next license renewal application.
    The opt-in notification will serve to inform the FCC and interested 
non-profit groups which NCE stations intend to engage in third-party 
fundraising activities. The audience disclosure will clearly identify 
for the NCE station's audience the entity for which the station is 
conducting fundraising. Commission staff will use the data in the 
annual reports to assess the effectiveness of allowing NCE stations to 
conduct third-party fundraising for non-profit organizations and to 
ensure that NCE stations comply with the one percent limit on third-
party fundraising. The public will use the data in the reports to 
assess how NCE stations are serving the public interest and their local 
communities.
    The Commission is seeking OMB approval for the proposed information 
collection requirements.

Summary of the Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

I. Introduction

    1. In this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM), we solicit comment 
on whether and under what circumstances to allow noncommercial 
educational (NCE) broadcast stations to conduct on-air fundraising 
activities that interrupt regular programming for the benefit of third-
party non-profit organizations. Under the Commission's rules, in the 
absence of a waiver, an NCE station may not conduct fundraising 
activities to benefit any entity besides the station itself if the 
activities would substantially alter or suspend regular programming. 
The recent report on ``The Information Needs of Communities'' (INC 
Report) recommended that we consider affording noncommercial 
broadcasters more flexibility by allowing certain NCE stations to 
engage in fundraising for charities and other third-party non-profit 
organizations. This NPRM promotes the goals of Executive Order 13579 by 
analyzing whether the Commission's longstanding policy against 
fundraising for third-party non-profits may be tailored to grant NCE 
stations limited flexibility without undermining the policy's important 
goals.

II. Background

    2. Under longstanding Commission policy, an NCE station may not 
conduct fundraising activities that substantially alter or suspend 
regular programming and are designed to benefit any entity other than 
the station itself. ``Regular programming'' includes programming that 
``the public broadcaster ordinarily carries, but does not encompass 
those fundraising activities that suspend or alter their normal 
programming fare.'' The Commission implemented this policy to reflect 
the concern that ``educational stations are licensed to provide a 
noncommercial broadcast service, not to serve as a fund-raising 
operation for other entities by broadcasting material that is `akin to 
regular advertising.' ''
    3. The Commission has relaxed some of its other policies governing 
the broadcast of promotional announcements by NCE stations. Throughout 
this process, however, a concern that these changes not adversely 
affect the educational programming mission or noncommercial character 
of these stations has persisted. For example, in 1981, the Commission 
determined that stations could acknowledge contributions made by 
donors, but it continued to prohibit the broadcast of promotional 
announcements by NCE licensees in exchange for consideration, 
regardless of whether the sponsor of a given announcement was a for-
profit or non-profit organization. The Commission adopted these 
policies to ```strike a reasonable balance between the financial needs 
of [public broadcast] stations and their obligation to provide an 
essentially noncommercial broadcast service' and eliminate those 
proscriptive regulations deemed unnecessary to preserve the media's 
noncommercial nature.'' Notably, the revised policy regarding 
contributions by donors was specifically intended to benefit the 
station itself and its need for funding to continue to serve its local 
audience through noncommercial and educational programming.
    4. Later in 1981, Congress adopted section 399B of the 
Communications Act of 1934, which prohibits NCE stations from 
broadcasting ``advertisements,'' defined as

    Any message or other programming material which is broadcast or 
otherwise transmitted in exchange for any remuneration, and which is 
intended--
    (1) To promote any service, facility, or product offered by any 
person who is engaged in such offering for profit;
    (2) To express the views of any person with respect to any 
matter of public importance or interest; or
    (3) To support or oppose any candidate for political office.\1\
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    \1\ 47 U.S.C. 399b(a), 399b(b)(1).

    In light of this statute's enactment, the Commission reviewed its 
NCE policies in 1982. In the resulting Policy Statement, the Commission 
determined that non-profit organizations are excluded from the meaning 
of the phrase ``any person who is engaged in such offering for profit'' 
in Section 399B.\2\ Thus, the Commission revised

[[Page 37641]]

the Second Report's determination regarding consideration received to 
allow the broadcast of promotional announcements sponsored by non-
profit organizations in order to conform the rule to section 399B of 
the Act.\3\ Despite these changes and other liberalizations of the 
fundraising and donor acknowledgment rules, the Commission continued 
the ban on conducting fundraising activities which substantially alter 
or suspend regular programming and are designed to benefit any entity 
other than the station itself, codifying these requirements in 
Sec. Sec.  73.503(d) and 73.621(e) of the Commission's rules. Those 
rules provide, in pertinent part, that ``[t]he scheduling of any 
announcements * * * may not interrupt regular programming.'' \4\
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    \2\ See Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of 
Educational Broadcast Stations, Memorandum Opinion and Order, 90 FCC 
2d 895, 897, para.3 (1982).
    \3\ See Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of 
Educational Broadcast Stations, Second Report and Order, 86 FCC 2d 
141, 157-58, paras. 42-43 (1981).
    \4\ 47 CFR 73.503(d), 73.621(e).
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    5. Commission staff has occasionally granted waivers of these rules 
in extraordinary circumstances. For example, the Commission granted a 
waiver to the licensee of an NCE television station to broadcast a 
three-hour fundraiser for Wolf Trap Foundation, with the money to be 
used to rebuild the Filene Center at Wolf Trap Farm Park which had 
burned down. The Commission granted the waiver in part based on the 
fact that the fundraising programming would be consistent with regular 
programming, in that more than half of the program would consist of 
excerpts of past programs broadcast by the NCE station that had 
originated from Wolf Trap Farm, and the remainder of the program would 
consist of interviews with and performances from stars who had appeared 
at Wolf Trap.
    6. Similarly, the former Mass Media Bureau granted a waiver of 
Sec. Sec.  73.621(e) and 73.503(d) of the Commission's rules to the 
licensee of an NCE radio station and an NCE television station in West 
Palm Beach, Florida, where the President had declared Dade County a 
disaster area following Hurricane Andrew. The stations proposed to 
broadcast a two-hour simulcast along with four area commercial 
television stations to raise funds and donations and provide 
information for the hurricane relief effort. The staff granted the 
waiver in recognition of the catastrophic events that had occurred, the 
stations' unique ability to serve the area affected by the disaster, 
and the limited length of the program. The Commission has also granted 
rule waivers for fundraising for other singular catastrophic events, 
such as Hurricane Katrina, the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, 
the January 2005 tsunami in Southeast Asia, and the January 2010 
earthquake in Haiti. More recently, the Commission established informal 
procedures through which NCE licensees could request Commission 
approval to conduct fundraising to aid the Japan earthquake and tsunami 
relief efforts, noting that it has granted waivers of Sec.  73.503(d) 
for ``fundraising appeals to support relief efforts following disasters 
of particular uniqueness or magnitude'' and that such waivers ``have 
been issued for a specific fundraising program or programs, or for 
sustained station appeals for periods which generally do not exceed 
several days.'' In contrast, in 1995, the staff denied a request for a 
waiver of Sec.  73.503(d) where the proposed fundraising for the 
Muscular Dystrophy Association occurred annually to address ongoing 
needs and was not limited to a specific one-time problem.
    7. In June 2011, a working group including Commission staff, 
scholars and consultants released the INC Report, a comprehensive 
report on the current state of the media landscape. The INC Report 
discussed both the need to empower citizens to ensure that broadcasters 
serve their communities in exchange for the use of public spectrum and 
the need to remove unnecessary burdens on broadcasters who aim to serve 
their communities. Noting comments from the National Religious 
Broadcasters (NRB), the INC Report recommended that we consider 
affording noncommercial broadcasters more flexibility by allowing NCE 
stations that are not grantees of the Corporation for Public 
Broadcasting (CPB) to spend up to one percent of their annual airtime 
doing fundraising for charities and other third-party non-profit 
organizations. In order to be eligible for CPB funding, an NCE station 
must devote the substantial majority of its daily total programming 
hours broadcast on all of its channels to CPB-qualified programming, 
which is defined as ``general audience programming that serves 
demonstrated community needs of an educational, informational and 
cultural nature.'' Programs that ``further the principles of particular 
political or religious philosophies, or that are designed primarily for 
in-school or professional in-service audiences'' are not considered 
CPB-qualified programming. Campus stations managed and operated by and 
for students, stations licensed to political organizations, and 
stations that provide in-service training programming to licensee 
employees, clients, or representatives are also ineligible for CPB 
funding. The INC Report noted that having local charities on the air 
can be a useful way of informing residents about problems in their 
communities and can help NCE stations achieve their public service or 
religious missions. The INC Report also recommended that broadcasters 
that take advantage of this flexibility be required to disclose how the 
fundraising time is used, including how it is helping charities in the 
local community, so that the Commission can assess the effectiveness of 
providing this flexibility.

III. Notice of Proposed Rulemaking

    8. We invite comment on whether it is in the public interest to 
revise our rules restricting the ability of NCE stations to conduct 
fundraising on behalf of third-party non-profit organizations. We 
believe that the original concerns animating the longstanding 
restriction remain valid. Nevertheless, as shown by the past grant of 
waivers, the Commission has concluded that an NCE station can conduct 
certain fundraising activities on behalf of other non-profit 
organizations in some circumstances without sacrificing its 
noncommercial nature. It has generally sought to limit such waivers to 
short-term fundraising intended to assist communities that have 
suffered singular misfortunes of historic dimensions or, more rarely, 
to benefit non-profit organizations directly tied to the programming 
activities of the stations. We seek comment on whether a blanket 
prohibition on the substantial interruption of programming for third-
party fundraising remains necessary to preserve NCE stations' 
noncommercial nature and to retain those stations' focus on their 
designated function of serving their communities of license through 
educational programming, or whether it would serve the public interest 
to grant NCE stations some flexibility to substantially interrupt 
programming to conduct fundraising on behalf of other non-profits. If 
we determine that more flexibility is necessary and appropriate, we 
seek comment on how we should modify our existing rules, and on what 
grounds.
    9. We propose to relax the prohibition on third-party fundraising 
for NCE stations and seek comment on that proposal. We further invite 
comment on whether we should limit the scope of our action and, if so, 
what the limitations should be and why. As noted above, the INC Report 
recommended that we revise our rules

[[Page 37642]]

to allow only NCE stations that are not CPB grantees, such as most 
religious broadcasters, to conduct fundraising for the benefit of 
third-party non-profit organizations. The INC Report stated that some 
public broadcasting officials do not want the flexibility to engage in 
fundraising activities for third-party non-profit organizations because 
``it would put them in the awkward position of deciding which worthy 
causes to support and which to reject.'' We invite comment on whether 
and how we should limit the NCE stations that may engage in limited 
third-party fundraising to address this concern. How would the 
Commission justify any such limitation? Is third-party fundraising less 
likely to trigger the concerns underlying the prohibition if conducted 
by certain NCE stations? Alternatively, should we require NCE stations 
to opt in to the proposed relaxation, as discussed below, so that NCE 
stations that do not want flexibility to engage in third-party 
fundraising can simply decline to opt in? We also invite comment on the 
First Amendment implications of any limitation on the classes of NCE 
stations that may conduct third-party fundraising.
    10. As noted, section 399B prohibits NCE stations from 
broadcasting, in exchange for remuneration, programming material 
intended to promote any service, facility or product offered by any 
person who is engaged in such offering for profit. Thus, if we decide 
to allow NCE stations additional flexibility to conduct fundraising for 
other entities, the statute requires that they be limited to non-profit 
entities. We seek comment on whether the Commission should further 
limit the kinds of non-profit organizations that may be the 
beneficiaries of fundraising conducted by NCE stations. In the Policy 
Statement, the Commission noted that ```non-profit' entities encompass 
a multitude of organizations with varied purposes and functions.'' The 
Communications Act of 1934 defines the term ``non-profit'' (as applied 
to any foundation, corporation, or association) to mean ``a foundation, 
corporation, or association, no part of the net earnings of which 
inures, or may lawfully inure, to the benefit of any private 
shareholder or individual.'' \5\ NRB suggests that we limit the class 
of entities for which fundraising may be conducted to organizations 
which are non-profit under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue 
Code \6\ and that we allow fundraising when ``the fundraising 
activities exempted shall be directed to an identified, bona fide 
charitable, educational, or religious need which the non-profit 
501(c)(3) organization is equipped and committed to aid.'' We seek 
comment on these suggestions. In order to eliminate uncertainty for NCE 
stations, would it be appropriate to allow fundraising for any entity 
that qualifies as a non-profit organization under section 501(c)(3) of 
the Internal Revenue Code? Should we establish any additional criteria 
to ensure that fundraising on behalf of non-profit entities is 
consistent with NCE stations' mission to serve their local communities 
through educational and noncommercial programming? As discussed above, 
the INC Report suggested that having local charities on the air can be 
a useful way of informing residents about problems in their communities 
and can help NCE stations achieve their public service or religious 
missions. Would it further our interest in localism to limit NCE 
stations to soliciting donations for local non-profit organizations? 
Furthermore, given that third-party fundraising on behalf of affiliated 
entities may restrict an NCE station's ability to conduct fundraising 
for local non-profit organizations, should we limit fundraising on 
behalf of third parties to unaffiliated third parties? If so, how 
should we define ``affiliated''? If we limit any new flexibility for 
NCE stations to fundraising for local non-profit entities, should we 
also retain our existing waiver process for fundraising activities for 
singular catastrophic events regardless of whether they are local in 
nature?
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    \5\ 47 U.S.C. 397(8) (defining the term ``non-profit'' for 
purposes of Title III, Part IV, Subpart E of the Act).
    \6\ Section 501(c)(3) provides that certain corporations, 
foundations, or other organizations that operate exclusively for 
religious, charitable, scientific, educational, or certain other 
non-profit purposes, are exempt from federal income taxation. See 26 
U.S.C. 501(c)(3).
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    11. In the event that we decide to modify the proscription on NCE 
broadcast stations interrupting regular programming to conduct 
fundraising activities on behalf of other non-profit organizations, we 
invite comment on how much flexibility to grant NCE stations to devote 
to this activity. NRB notes that because NCE licensees rely on 
fundraising to support their own operations, these stations will not 
want to broadcast ``[e]xcessive appeals for other non-profit groups'' 
because they ``could negatively impact the licensee's own self-
interests by diverting public support away from the broadcaster * * *'' 
Approximately how much time do NCE stations spend each year 
broadcasting fundraisers on their own behalf? We are concerned that 
permitting NCE broadcasters to use too much of their airtime for 
unrelated non-profit fundraising could undermine the noncommercial 
character of the participating facilities and divert these stations 
from their primary function of providing service to their communities 
of license through programming. Thus, we believe a strict, if not a 
complete, limit on such activities would be advisable. The INC Report 
recommended that we consider allowing third-party fundraising so long 
as it does not exceed one percent of the broadcaster's total annual 
airtime. We invite comment on this approach. With respect to NCE 
television stations, we seek comment on how the recommended one percent 
limit on third-party fundraising should be calculated and applied for 
stations that multicast programming on several different channels. We 
also seek comment on how we should enforce a relaxed limit on the 
amount of time that NCE stations may devote to third-party fundraising. 
Would an annual limit of one percent be sufficient to allow stations to 
use third-party fundraising flexibility both for the kinds of planned 
fundraising contemplated in the INC Report and for fundraising 
activities for disasters and other singular catastrophic events that in 
the past have required waivers? The Commission has traditionally 
granted waivers only for fundraising activities of ``limited 
duration.'' In addition to an annual limit, should fundraising 
activities continue to be circumscribed in this way, such as by 
adopting a durational limit on a specific program and/or on a discrete 
fundraising effort?
    12. In the event we modify the current prohibition, we invite 
comment on whether we should require that an NCE station itself conduct 
all third-party fundraising activities, including collecting funds and 
distributing the funds to the non-profit entity, rather than airing 
fundraising programs produced by the non-profit organization or some 
other entity on behalf of the non-profit organization. Would requiring 
an NCE station to locally produce its third-party fundraising 
activities promote localism? What are the potential benefits and costs 
of requiring NCE stations to locally produce third-party fundraising 
activities? Are there any other limitations we should consider imposing 
in order to preserve the noncommercial and educational character of the 
NCE programming service?

[[Page 37643]]

    13. Section 399B prohibits the airing, in exchange for 
remuneration, of programming material intended to express views on 
matters of public importance or interest, or to support or oppose 
political candidates. We note that on April 12, 2012, the Ninth Circuit 
Court of Appeals struck down as unconstitutional section 399B's ban on 
public interest and political advertisements by NCE stations.\7\ 
Accordingly, we will not enforce section 399B's ban on public interest 
and political advertisements in the Ninth Circuit once the court's 
mandate goes into effect. Nevertheless, to the extent any fundraising 
that stations would like to conduct under a relaxed policy would fall 
into these categories, we invite comment on whether the statutory term 
``remuneration'' includes repayment of a station's expenses associated 
with such fundraising activities. Additionally, we seek comment on 
whether section 399B places any other limitations on the revision of 
our existing rules to permit substantial interruption of regular 
programming for fundraising activities on behalf of non-profit 
organizations.
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    \7\ See Minority Television Project, Inc. v. FCC, No. 09-17311, 
2012 WL 1216284, at *17 (9th Cir. Apr. 12, 2012).
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    14. We recognize that in certain situations third-party fundraising 
by an NCE station could potentially confuse the station's audience. For 
example, where an NCE station conducts fundraising activities on behalf 
of a non-profit organization or charity that is closely affiliated with 
the station, it may be unclear to the audience whether the station is 
fundraising for the station itself or for another entity. In the event 
that we decide to modify the third-party fundraising policy, in order 
to avoid audience confusion, should we require NCE stations to air a 
specified disclosure that clearly identifies the entity for which the 
station is conducting the fundraising? If so, what form should this 
disclosure take? Would it be sufficient for the station to clearly 
state that the fundraiser is not to benefit the station itself and to 
identify the entity for which it is fundraising and the specific cause, 
if any, supported by the fundraiser? How frequently during each 
fundraising effort or program should the NCE station air the 
disclosure? We invite comment on whether we should require the NCE 
station to air the disclosure at the beginning and the end of the 
fundraising program and at least once during each hour in which the 
program is on the air.
    15. We also seek comment on whether, in the event that we decide to 
modify the third-party fundraising policy, we should require NCE 
stations that interrupt regular programming to conduct fundraising for 
third-party non-profit organizations to submit reports to the 
Commission on their fundraising activities. The INC Report recommended 
that the Commission consider requiring NCE broadcasters to disclose how 
they are utilizing fundraising time for third-party non-profit 
organizations so that the FCC can assess the effectiveness of the 
additional flexibility recommended therein. If we require NCE stations 
to submit reports on third-party fundraising, what information should 
the stations be required to include in the reports? For example, the 
reports could include, for each fundraiser, the date and time of the 
fundraiser, the name of the non-profit entity benefitted by the 
fundraiser and whether this entity is a local organization, the 
specific cause, if any, supported by the fundraiser, the type of 
fundraising activity, the duration of the fundraiser, and the total 
funds raised. We seek comment on whether each of these reporting 
elements would be useful. What, if any, additional information should 
be included? Should NCE stations be required to file the reports on an 
annual basis? While we do not believe that filing such reports would be 
unduly burdensome, we invite suggestions for minimizing the reporting 
burden on NCE broadcasters. Furthermore, we invite comment on whether 
we should require NCE stations to include their reports on third-party 
fundraising in their public files. Such a requirement would help to 
ensure that the public has access to information about how NCE 
broadcasters are serving the public interest and their local 
communities. Beyond the above-described reporting requirements, we also 
invite comment on whether some form of assurance regarding compliance 
with the third-party fundraising limits should be required--such as 
certification of such compliance on licensees' renewal applications. 
This is a common method used to verify compliance in other areas, and 
could assist in raising awareness of the limitations on this activity 
and ensuring compliance with the new rules.
    16. Finally, we invite comment on whether we should require NCE 
stations that want to participate in fundraising for third-party non-
profit organizations to affirmatively ``opt in'' by filing a letter or 
notification with the Commission. An opt in notification would serve to 
inform both the Commission and interested non-profit groups which NCE 
stations intend to engage in third-party fundraising activities.

IV. Procedural Matters

A. Initial Regulatory Flexibility Act Analysis

    17. As required by the Regulatory Flexibility Act, as amended 
(RFA), the Commission has prepared this Initial Regulatory Flexibility 
Analysis (IRFA) of the possible significant economic impact on a 
substantial number of small entities by the policies and rules 
considered in the attached Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM). 
Written public comments are requested on this IRFA. Comments must be 
identified as responses to the IRFA and must be filed by the deadlines 
for comments on the NPRM as indicated on the first page of the NPRM. 
The Commission will send a copy of the NPRM, including this IRFA, to 
the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of the Small Business Administration 
(SBA). In addition, the NPRM and the IRFA (or summaries thereof) will 
be published in the Federal Register.
Need for, and Objectives of, the Proposed Rules
    18. Longstanding Commission policy provides that noncommercial 
educational (NCE) stations may not conduct fundraising activities which 
substantially alter or suspend regular programming and are designed to 
benefit any entity other than the station itself. ``Regular 
programming'' includes programming that the public broadcaster 
ordinarily carries, and not fundraising activities that suspend or 
alter the normal programming schedule.
    19. In June 2011, a working group including Commission staff, 
scholars and consultants released ``The Information Needs of 
Communities'' (INC Report), a comprehensive report on the current state 
of the media landscape. Noting comments from the National Religious 
Broadcasters, the INC Report recommended that we afford noncommercial 
broadcasters more flexibility by allowing NCE stations that are not 
grantees of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), such as most 
religious broadcasters, to spend up to one percent of their airtime 
doing fundraising for charities and other third-party non-profit 
organizations. The INC Report also recommended that we require that 
broadcasters disclose how this time is used so that the FCC can assess 
the efficacy of allowing third-party fundraising.
    20. The NPRM proposes to relax the rules to afford NCE stations 
more flexibility to conduct on-air fundraising activities on behalf of 
third-party non-

[[Page 37644]]

profit organizations and seeks comment on a series of proposals to 
facilitate this additional flexibility. The NPRM seeks comment on the 
following proposals:
     Revise the rules to allow NCE stations to substantially 
interrupt regular programming to conduct on-air fundraising activities 
for the benefit of third-party non-profit organizations;
     Define the class of non-profit organizations that may be 
the beneficiaries of third-party fundraising by NCE stations to include 
entities that qualify as non-profit organizations under section 
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code;
     Limit the amount of time that an NCE station may devote to 
third-party fundraising to one percent of the station's total annual 
airtime;
     Require NCE stations that substantially interrupt regular 
programming to conduct third-party fundraising to air a disclosure that 
clearly identifies the entity for which the station is conducting the 
fundraising;
     Require NCE stations that substantially interrupt regular 
programming to conduct third-party fundraising to submit annual reports 
to the Commission on their fundraising activities;
     Require NCE stations that substantially interrupt regular 
programming to conduct third-party fundraising to include their reports 
on third-party fundraising in their public files;
     Require NCE stations that substantially interrupt regular 
programming to conduct third-party fundraising to certify on their 
renewal applications that they have complied with the limits on 
fundraising; and
     Require NCE stations that want to substantially interrupt 
regular programming to participate in third-party fundraising to 
affirmatively ``opt in'' by filing a letter or notification with the 
Commission.

The NPRM also has under consideration possible rule changes that would:
     Limit the classes of NCE stations that may engage in 
third-party fundraising;
     Limit the non-profit organizations that may benefit from 
fundraising by NCE stations, such as by limiting the eligible class of 
non-profit organizations to local entities and/or entities that are not 
affiliated with the NCE stations;
     Prescribe durational limits for each particular 
fundraising effort; and
     Require NCE stations to locally produce third-party 
fundraising activities.

The NPRM invites commenters to suggest alternatives to these proposals 
and other rule changes that would help to ensure that fundraising on 
behalf of non-profit entities is consistent with NCE stations' mission 
to serve their local communities through educational and noncommercial 
programming.
Legal Basis
    21. This NPRM is adopted pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 303(r), and 
399B of the Communications Act of 1934, 47 U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 303(r), 
399b.
Description and Estimate of the Number of Small Entities To Which the 
Proposed Rules Will Apply
    22. The RFA directs agencies to provide a description of, and, 
where feasible, an estimate of the number of small entities that may be 
affected by the proposed rules, if adopted. The RFA generally defines 
the term ``small entity'' as having the same meaning as the terms 
``small business,'' ``small organization,'' and ``small governmental 
jurisdiction.'' In addition, the term ``small business'' has the same 
meaning as the term ``small business concern'' under the Small Business 
Act. A ``small business concern'' is one which: (1) Is independently 
owned and operated; (2) is not dominant in its field of operation; and 
(3) satisfies any additional criteria established by the SBA.
    23. Television Broadcasting. The SBA defines a television 
broadcasting station as a small business if such station has $14.0 
million or less in annual receipts. Business concerns included in this 
industry are those ``primarily engaged in broadcasting images together 
with sound.'' The Commission has estimated the number of licensed 
commercial television stations to be 1,387. In addition, according to 
Commission staff review of the BIA Kelsey Inc. Master Access Television 
Analyzer Database (BIA) as of February 7, 2012, about 950 (73 percent) 
of an estimated 1,301 commercial television stations had revenues of 
$14.0 million or less and thus qualify as small entities under the SBA 
definition. We note, however, that in assessing whether a business 
concern qualifies as small under the above definition, business 
(control) affiliations must be included. Our estimate, therefore, 
likely overstates the number of small entities that might be affected 
by our action, because the revenue figure on which it is based does not 
include or aggregate revenues from affiliated companies. The Commission 
has estimated the number of licensed NCE television stations to be 396. 
The Commission does not compile and otherwise does not have access to 
information on the revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to 
determine how many such stations would qualify as small entities.
    24. In addition, an element of the definition of ``small business'' 
is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are 
unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that would 
establish whether a specific television station is dominant in its 
field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to 
which rules may apply does not exclude any television station from the 
definition of a small business on this basis and is therefore possibly 
over-inclusive to that extent. Also, an additional element of the 
definition of ``small business'' is that the entity must be 
independently owned and operated. We note that it is difficult at times 
to assess these criteria in the context of media entities and our 
estimates of small businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive 
to this extent.
    25. Radio Stations. The SBA defines a radio broadcasting station 
that has $7.0 million or less in annual receipts as a small business. A 
radio broadcasting station is an establishment primarily engaged in 
broadcasting aural programs by radio to the public. Radio broadcasting 
stations which primarily are engaged in radio broadcasting and which 
produce radio program materials are similarly included. The Commission 
has estimated the number of licensed commercial radio stations to be 
14,952. In addition, according to Commission staff review of BIA Kelsey 
Inc. Master Access Radio Analyzer Database as of February 7, 2012, 
about 10,755 (approximately 97 percent) of an estimated 11,106 
commercial radio stations have revenue of $7.0 million or less and thus 
qualify as small entities under the SBA definition. We note, however, 
that, in assessing whether a business concern qualifies as small under 
the above definition, business (control) affiliations must be included. 
Our estimate, therefore, likely overstates the number of small entities 
that might be affected by our action, because the revenue figure on 
which it is based does not include or aggregate revenues from 
affiliated companies. The Commission has estimated the number of 
licensed NCE radio stations to be 3,644. The Commission does not 
compile and otherwise does not have access to information on the 
revenue of NCE stations that would permit it to determine how many such 
stations would qualify as small entities.
    26. In addition, an element of the definition of ``small business'' 
is that the entity not be dominant in its field of operation. We are 
unable at this time to define or quantify the criteria that

[[Page 37645]]

would establish whether a specific radio station is dominant in its 
field of operation. Accordingly, the estimate of small businesses to 
which rules may apply does not exclude any radio station from the 
definition of a small business on this basis and therefore may be over-
inclusive to that extent. Also, an additional element of the definition 
of ``small business'' is that the entity must be independently owned 
and operated. We note that it is difficult at times to assess these 
criteria in the context of media entities and our estimates of small 
businesses to which they apply may be over-inclusive to this extent.
Description of Projected Reporting, Recordkeeping, and Other Compliance 
Requirements
    27. The NPRM proposes a number of rule changes that would affect 
reporting, recordkeeping, and other compliance requirements. Each of 
these proposals is described below.
    28. The NPRM proposes to allow NCE stations to substantially 
interrupt regular programming to spend up to one percent of their total 
annual airtime conducting fundraising activities on behalf of third-
party non-profit organizations. If this proposal is adopted, NCE 
stations may be required to keep records sufficient to demonstrate that 
their fundraising broadcasts are within the one percent limit. The NPRM 
also proposes to require NCE stations to submit annual reports to the 
Commission on their fundraising for third-party non-profit 
organizations. Further, the NPRM proposes to require NCE stations to 
include their reports on third-party fundraising in their public files 
and to certify on their renewal applications that they have complied 
with the limits on fundraising.
Steps Taken To Minimize Significant Impact on Small Entities, and 
Significant Alternatives Considered
    29. The RFA requires an agency to describe any significant 
alternatives that might minimize any significant economic impact on 
small entities. Such alternatives may include the following four 
alternatives (among others): (1) The establishment of differing 
compliance or reporting requirements or timetables that take into 
account the resources available to small entities; (2) the 
clarification, consolidation, or simplification of compliance or 
reporting requirements under the rule for small entities; (3) the use 
of performance, rather than design, standards; and (4) an exemption 
from coverage of the rule, or any part thereof, for small entities.
    30. The NPRM proposes to relax restrictions on third-party 
fundraising by NCE stations by allowing NCE stations to devote up to 
one percent of their total annual airtime to fundraising for the 
benefit of third-party non-profit organizations. This proposal would 
benefit small entities by reducing or eliminating the need for NCE 
stations to seek a waiver of the Commission's rules to conduct third-
party fundraising activities and affording NCE stations more 
flexibility to decide which non-profit entities to support through on-
air fundraising. The NPRM also proposes to require NCE stations that 
conduct third-party fundraising to submit annual reports to the 
Commission on their fundraising activities, include such reports in 
their public files, and certify on their renewal applications that they 
have complied with the limits on fundraising. We believe that these 
reporting and recordkeeping requirements would impose only minimal 
burdens on any affected entities, and the costs of these reporting and 
recordkeeping requirements would be offset in our opinion by the 
additional flexibility afforded to NCE stations to conduct fundraising 
for third-party non-profit organizations of their choosing without the 
need to seek a waiver or prior FCC approval. For this reason, an 
analysis of alternatives to the proposed rules is unnecessary. We 
invite comment on whether there are any alternatives we should consider 
that would minimize any adverse impact on small entities, but which 
maintain the benefits of our proposals.
Federal Rules That May Duplicate, Overlap, or Conflict With the 
Proposed Rules
    31. None.

B. Paperwork Reduction Act

    32. This NPRM proposes new information collection requirements. The 
Commission, as part of its continuing effort to reduce paperwork 
burdens, invites the general public and the Office of Management and 
Budget (OMB) to comment on the information collection requirements 
contained in this document, as required by the Paperwork Reduction Act 
of 1995.\8\ In addition, pursuant to the Small Business Paperwork 
Relief Act of 2002,\9\ we seek specific comment on how we might 
``further reduce the information collection burden for small business 
concerns with fewer than 25 employees.'' \10\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \8\ See Public Law 104-13.
    \9\ See Public Law 107-198.
    \10\ See 44 U.S.C. 3506(c)(4).
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

C. Ex Parte Rules

    33. Permit-But-Disclose. The proceeding this NPRM initiates shall 
be treated as a ``permit-but-disclose'' proceeding in accordance with 
the Commission's ex parte rules. Persons making ex parte presentations 
must file a copy of any written presentation or a memorandum 
summarizing any oral presentation within two business days after the 
presentation (unless a different deadline applicable to the Sunshine 
period applies). Persons making oral ex parte presentations are 
reminded that memoranda summarizing the presentation must (1) list all 
persons attending or otherwise participating in the meeting at which 
the ex parte presentation was made, and (2) summarize all data 
presented and arguments made during the presentation. If the 
presentation consisted in whole or in part of the presentation of data 
or arguments already reflected in the presenter's written comments, 
memoranda or other filings in the proceeding, the presenter may provide 
citations to such data or arguments in his or her prior comments, 
memoranda, or other filings (specifying the relevant page and/or 
paragraph numbers where such data or arguments can be found) in lieu of 
summarizing them in the memorandum. Documents shown or given to 
Commission staff during ex parte meetings are deemed to be written ex 
parte presentations and must be filed consistent with rule Sec.  
1.1206(b). In proceedings governed by rule Sec.  1.49(f) or for which 
the Commission has made available a method of electronic filing, 
written ex parte presentations and memoranda summarizing oral ex parte 
presentations, and all attachments thereto, must be filed through the 
electronic comment filing system available for that proceeding, and 
must be filed in their native format (e.g., .doc, .xml, .ppt, 
searchable .pdf). Participants in this proceeding should familiarize 
themselves with the Commission's ex parte rules.

D. Filing Requirements

    34. Pursuant to Sec. Sec.  1.415 and 1.419 of the Commission's 
rules, 47 CFR 1.415, 1.419, interested parties may file comments and 
reply comments on or before the dates indicated on the first page of 
this document. Comments may be filed using the Commission's Electronic 
Comment Filing System (ECFS).
    [ssquf] Electronic Filers: Comments may be filed electronically 
using the Internet by accessing the ECFS: http://www.fcc.gov/cgb/ecfs/.

[[Page 37646]]

    [ssquf] Paper Filers: Parties who choose to file by paper must file 
an original and one copy of each filing. If more than one docket or 
rulemaking number appears in the caption of this proceeding, filers 
must submit two additional copies for each additional docket or 
rulemaking number.
    Filings can be sent by hand or messenger delivery, by commercial 
overnight courier, or by first-class or overnight U.S. Postal Service 
mail. All filings must be addressed to the Commission's Secretary, 
Office of the Secretary, Federal Communications Commission.
    [cir] All hand-delivered or messenger-delivered paper filings for 
the Commission's Secretary must be delivered to FCC Headquarters at 445 
12th St. SW., Room TW-A325, Washington, DC 20554. The filing hours are 
8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. All hand deliveries must be held together with 
rubber bands or fasteners. Any envelopes and boxes must be disposed of 
before entering the building.
    [cir] Commercial overnight mail (other than U.S. Postal Service 
Express Mail and Priority Mail) must be sent to 9300 East Hampton 
Drive, Capitol Heights, MD 20743.
    [cir] U.S. Postal Service first-class, Express, and Priority mail 
should be addressed to 445 12th Street SW., Washington DC 20554.
    35. People with Disabilities: To request materials in accessible 
formats for people with disabilities (braille, large print, electronic 
files, audio format), send an email to fcc504@fcc.gov or call the 
Consumer & Governmental Affairs Bureau at 202-418-0530 (voice), 202-
418-0432 (tty).
    36. For additional information on this proceeding, contact Kathy 
Berthot, Kathy.Berthot@fcc.gov, of the Media Bureau, Policy Division, 
(202) 418-2120.

V. Ordering Clauses

    37. Accordingly, it is ordered that, pursuant to sections 1, 4(i), 
303(r), and 399B of the Communications Act of 1934, as amended, 47 
U.S.C. 151, 154(i), 303(r), 399b, this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is 
hereby adopted.
    38. It is further ordered that the Commission's Consumer and 
Governmental Affairs Bureau, Reference Information Center, shall send a 
copy of this Notice of Proposed Rulemaking, including the Initial 
Regulatory Flexibility Analysis, to the Chief Counsel for Advocacy of 
the Small Business Administration.

List of Subjects in 47 CFR Part 73

    Radio, Television, Reporting and recordkeeping requirements.

Federal Communications Commission.
Marlene H. Dortch,
Secretary.

Proposed Rules

    For the reasons discussed in the preamble, the Federal 
Communications Commission proposes to amend 47 part 73 as follows:

PART 73--RADIO BROADCAST SERVICES

    1. The authority citation for part 73 continues to read as follows:

    Authority:  47 U.S.C. 154, 303, 334, 336, and 339.

    2. Section 73.503 is amended by revising the last sentence of 
paragraph (d), redesignating paragraph (e) as paragraph (f), adding a 
new paragraph (e) and revising the Note to read as follows:


Sec.  73.503  Licensing requirements and service.

* * * * *
    (d) * * * The scheduling of any announcements and acknowledgements 
may not interrupt regular programming, except as permitted under 
paragraph (e) of this section.
    (e) A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station may interrupt 
regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of 
third-party non-profit organizations, provided that such fundraising 
activities do not exceed one percent of the station's total annual 
airtime. For purposes of this paragraph, a non-profit organization is 
an entity that qualifies as a non-profit organization under section 
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    (1) Opt-In Notification. A noncommercial educational FM broadcast 
station that intends to interrupt regular programming to conduct 
fundraising activities on behalf of third-party non-profit 
organizations must file an opt-in notification with the FCC prior to 
engaging in such fundraising activities.
    (2) Audience Disclosure. A noncommercial educational FM broadcast 
station that interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising 
activities on behalf of third-party non-profit organizations must air a 
disclosure during such activities clearly stating that the fundraiser 
is not for the benefit of the station itself and identifying the entity 
for which it is fundraising and the specific cause, if any, supported 
by the fundraiser. The station must air the audience disclosure at the 
beginning and the end of each fundraising program and at least once 
during each hour in which the program is on the air.
    (3) Reports. A noncommercial educational FM broadcast station that 
interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on 
behalf of third-party non-profit organizations must file a report with 
the FCC on an annual basis describing such activities. These reports 
must include, for each fundraiser, the date and time of the fundraiser, 
the name of the non-profit entity benefitted by the fundraiser and 
whether this entity is a local organization, the specific cause, if 
any, supported by the fundraiser, the type of fundraising activity, the 
duration of the fundraiser, and the total funds raised.
* * * * *

    Note to Sec.  73.503: Commission interpretation on this rule, 
including the acceptable form of acknowledgements, may be found in 
the Second Report and Order in Docket No. 21136 (Commission Policy 
Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of Educational Broadcast 
Stations), 86 FCC 2d 141 (1981); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in 
Docket No. 21136, 90 FCC 2d 895 (1982); the Memorandum Opinion and 
Order in Docket 21136, 97 FCC 2d 255 (1984); and the Report and 
Order in Docket No. 12-106 (Noncommercial Educational Station 
Fundraising for Third-Party Non-Profit Organizations). See also, 
``Commission Policy Concerning the Noncommercial Nature of 
Educational Broadcast Stations,'' Public Notice, 7 FCC Rcd 827 
(1992), which can be retrieved through the Internet at  http://www.fcc.gov/mmb/asd/nature.html.

    3. Section 73.621 is amended by redesignating paragraphs (f) 
through (i) as paragraphs (g) through (j), revising the last sentence 
of paragraph (e) and the Note to paragraph (e), and adding new 
paragraph (f) to read as follows:


Sec.  73.621  Noncommercial educational TV stations.

* * * * *
    (e) * * * The scheduling of any announcements and acknowledgements 
may not interrupt regular programming, except as permitted under 
paragraph (f) of this section.

    Note: Commission interpretation of this rule, including the 
acceptable form of acknowledgements, may be found in the Second 
Report and Order in Docket No. 21136 (Commission Policy Concerning 
the Noncommercial Nature of Educational Broadcast Stations), 86 
F.C.C. 2d 141 (1981); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in Docket No. 
21136, 90 FCC 2d 895 (1982); the Memorandum Opinion and Order in 
Docket 21136, 49 FR 13534, April 5, 1984; and the Report and Order 
in Docket No. 12-106 (Noncommercial Educational Station

[[Page 37647]]

Fundraising for Third-Party Non-Profit Organizations).

    (f) A noncommercial educational television station may interrupt 
regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on behalf of a 
third-party non-profit organization, provided that such fundraising 
activities do not exceed one percent of the station's total annual 
airtime. For purposes of this paragraph, a non-profit organization is 
an entity that qualifies as a non-profit organization under section 
501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
    (1) Opt-In Notification. A noncommercial educational television 
station that intends to interrupt regular programming to conduct 
fundraising activities on behalf of third-party non-profit 
organizations must file an opt-in notification with the FCC prior to 
engaging in such fundraising activities.
    (2) Audience Disclosure. A noncommercial educational television 
station that interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising 
activities on behalf of third-party non-profit organizations must air a 
disclosure during such activities clearly stating that the fundraiser 
is not for the benefit of the station itself and identifying the entity 
for which it is fundraising and the specific cause, if any, supported 
by the fundraiser. The station must air the audience disclosure at the 
beginning and the end of each fundraising program and at least once 
during each hour in which the program is on the air.
    (3) Reports. A noncommercial educational television station that 
interrupts regular programming to conduct fundraising activities on 
behalf of third-party non-profit organizations must file a report with 
the FCC on an annual basis describing such activities. These reports 
must include, for each fundraiser, the date and time of the fundraiser, 
the name of the non-profit entity benefitted by the fundraiser and 
whether this entity is a local organization, the specific cause, if 
any, supported by the fundraiser, the type of fundraising activity, the 
duration of the fundraiser, and the total funds raised.
* * * * *
    4. Section 73.3527 is amended by adding new paragraph (e)(14) to 
read as follows:


Sec.  73.3527  Local public inspection file of noncommercial 
educational stations.

* * * * *
    (e) * * *
    (14) Reports on Fundraising for Third-Party Non-Profit 
Organizations. For noncommercial educational FM broadcast stations a 
copy of each report required to be filed with the FCC by Sec.  
73.503(e)(3). For noncommercial educational TV broadcast stations a 
copy of each report required to be filed with the FCC by Sec.  
73.621(f)(3). These reports shall be retained in the public inspection 
file until final action has been taken on the station's next license 
renewal application.

[FR Doc. 2012-12952 Filed 6-21-12; 8:45 am]
BILLING CODE 6712-01-P